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Ian McShane Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (13)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, UK
Birth NameIan David McShane
Nickname Lovejoy
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

From a lawless, foul-mouthed saloon owner in "Deadwood" to a tough, no-nonsense British gangster in "Sexy Beast," Ian McShane has virtually cornered the market on playing rogues, villains, and all-around badasses.

A natural at portraying complex anti-heroes and charismatic heavies, the classically trained actor was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, to parents Irene (Cowley) and Harry McShane, a soccer player for Manchester United. McShane caught his first break in 1962 when he landed a lead role in "The Wild and the Willing." McShane later revealed that he had ditched class at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to audition for the role. Since then, the award-winning actor has gone on to grab the attention of audiences and critics alike with his unforgettable portrayals of scoundrels, kings, killers, and thieves.

McShane will next star opposite David Harbour in "Hellboy," directed by Neil Marshall for Lionsgate and Millennium Films. Recently he reprised his role as club owner/ex-assassin Winston opposite Keanu Reeves in "John Wick: Chapter 2," the film by director Chad Stahelski. He also played Leland, a retired sheriff with violent tendencies, opposite Patrick Wilson in "The Hollow Point," the gritty drama directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego and appeared alongside Johnny Harris and Ray Winstone in Thomas Napper's blistering boxing drama "Jawbone." Also expect to see McShane in the upcoming films "Bolden!" directed by Dan Pritzker and "Pottersville" opposite Michael Shannon. On television, McShane stars as Mr. Wednesday in Neil Gaiman's "American Gods," the hit series for Starz produced by Michael Green and Bryan Fuller. "Actor. Icon. And now god. It is a goddamn delight to be collaborating with the incomparable Ian McShane," said Michael Green recently. McShane previously starred in the Michael Green series "Kings" for NBC. McShane will also be seen opposite Dr. Dre for Apple TV's first scripted series "Vital Signs," a semi-autobiographical series loosely based on the hip-hop icon's life.

McShane's formidable acting resume is as long as it is varied. McShane starred as the notoriously fearsome pirate Blackbeard opposite Johnny Depp in Disney's worldwide blockbuster hit "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." He starred as priest/prophet/warrior Amphiarus opposite Dwayne Johnson in MGM's "Hercules," played lead dwarf Beith in the dark fantasy flick "Snow White and the Huntsman," and portrayed good King Bramwell in Bryan Singer's modern-day fairy tale "Jack the Giant Slayer." McShane also appeared as Joe Strombel in Woody Allen's "Scoop." His universally praised performance as tough guy Teddy Bass in the cult indie hit "Sexy Beast" led one London critic to dub McShane as "The King of Cool." In a change of pace, he portrayed soft-spoken Meredith in the darkly perverse crime drama "44 Inch Chest," a film in which McShane not only starred, but also produced.

McShane has also had a long and diverse career on both British and American television. Earning considerable critical acclaim as the fierce yet charismatic Al Swearengen in the much-loved David Milch HBO series "Deadwood," McShane went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series. His compelling and gritty portrayal also scored him nominations for both Emmy and SAG Awards. He went on to collect yet another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries for his riveting portrayal of the scheming, corrupt Waleran Bigod in Starz' Emmy-nominated "Pillars of the Earth." McShane also won over viewers in FX's "American Horror Story" as the very bad Santa/serial killer Leigh Emerson and as cold-blooded billionaire Andrew Finney opposite Liev Schreiber in Showtime's acclaimed series "Ray Donovan." More recently, he portrayed Sir Roger Scatcherd in the Julian Fellows' miniseries "Dr. Thorne" for ITV and also made an appearance as peacenik Brother Ray in HBO's juggernaut "Game of Thrones."

Earlier in his television career McShane produced and starred as the irresistible rogue antiques dealer in the acclaimed series "Lovejoy" for the BBC and A&E, even directing several episodes himself. The show was one of the first independent co-productions with the BBC and aired in both the U.S. and U.K. Other notable portrayals on television have included his appearance in the landmark, blockbuster miniseries "Roots" and as Ken Harrison in "Whose Life is it Anyway?" McShane also played Sejanus in the miniseries "A.D.," the eponymous "Disraeli," produced by Masterpiece Theater, and Judas in NBC's "Jesus of Nazareth."

An accomplished, award-winning stage actor, McShane made his West End debut in "The Promise," co-starring Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen. The play went on to open on Broadway the following year. McShane also charmed audiences in the West End musical "The Witches of Eastwick," originating the role of the seductive, sex-obsessed Darryl Van Horne on stage in London. At the esteemed L.A. Matrix Theatre, McShane appeared in Harold Pinter's "Betrayal," Larry Atlas' "Yield of the Long Bond", as well as in John Osborne's "Inadmissible Evidence," picking up a couple of Los Angeles Drama Critics' Awards for Lead Performance in the process. In addition, McShane appeared in the 40th Anniversary revival of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming" on Broadway. With his low, distinctive voice, McShane has also made his mark in film and television as a voiceover artist. He narrated Disney's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," brought life to the eccentric magician Mr. Bobinsky in "Coraline," and added a sinister edge to Tai Lung in "Kung Fu Panda." McShane has also lent his rich baritone to "The Golden Compass," as well as to "Shrek The Third" as the notorious Captain Hook.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gallant Management

Spouse (3)

Gwen Humble (30 August 1980 - present)
Ruth V. Post (1968 - 1977) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Suzan Farmer (1964 - 1968) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (3)

Frequently plays cold-eyed, calculating villains
Calm, rasping voice
Jet black hair

Trivia (13)

Children: Kate McShane (b. 1971), Morgan McShane (b. 1975).
Father was Harry McShane, the Manchester United footballer.
Grew up in Manchester.
After over 40 years in the business, he has finally struck it big internationally with his performance as the macho, gruffly-complex villain, Al Swearengen, on the HBO series, Deadwood (2004).
An appealing romantic lead in several hit movies of the sixties, by the late seventies he had progressed to character parts, such as the title roles in the BBC Disraeli: Portrait of a Romantic (1978) and the very popular TV series Lovejoy (1986).
His favorite shows are Family Guy (1999) and The Simpsons (1989). In a 2010 interview he remarked "They tell you what's happening in the world. Best shows on television".
His father was Scottish. His mother, who was English-born, was of Irish and English ancestry.
Lives in the Venice beach area of Los Angeles.
Quit smoking in 2011.
Gave up drinking in 1988.
Was close friends with John Hurt since the start of their careers.
Close friend of Charles Dance and Stephen Dillane.
He has three grandchildren through his daughter Kate.

Personal Quotes (6)

The bad boy: always more fun. It's funny. When you're in your early 20s, you go ahead and do everything. And it's very hard to judge yourself. It's like when you're in drama school, and you're playing a 60-year-old in Russian plays, and you get criticized, and you say, 'What the hell, I'm an 18-year-old trying to be a 60-year-old Russian?' But the bad boy, I had a knack for it from the start.
Giving up smoking was the hardest one of all - tougher than alcohol and drugs. I was smoking at work out of boredom a lot of the time. You'd finish filming a scene and have three hours until the next one. I always say that movies pay me to wait around - and I do the acting for free.
That was a volatile time in my life. Lunacy. Off the rails for a year and a half. Sylvia was a great girl, but we were hardly seeing each other towards the end, because we were always away filming in different parts of the world and then, when we did meet, we would fight.
My wife is American, though, and she's been my wife for 36 years, and I do love the place. When I see all this Trump bullshit, all his bombast and stupidity, I think that's not the America I know.
I became a high-functioning alcoholic and drug taker. I would always remember my lines, and always be on time, but some of the films I was in then I have no recollection of having done them.
I've been there on and off for 40 years. America is great. It's just who the hell wants this lot? Especially now Trump's speaking from the bully pulpit. It's remarkable to hear his gibberish.

See also

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